Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Charles Dickens at 200

On February 7th it will be 200 years since Charles Dickens was born.

I live in Portsmouth, the birthplace of Charles Dickens.  To celebrate the occasion the museum has some fun things planned - see the website here.

I also want to show you the work of a talented felt sculptor - Amy of The Greedy Crocodile.

Pop over to her shop to see Socrates, dogs, cats and Penguins. And of course the incomparable man himself....

Charles Dickens 

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

I am Still Recycling those old Pyjamas

I had a few strips that I had cut from Mary's old pyjamas that were too small to use in the rag rug.  Then remembered that I wanted to curl Mary's hair.  I had plaited it before over night but when I was a girl my mum used rags to curl it, and I also saw a few tutorials about zooloo/zoolu/zulu or Bantu curling.

So last night I had a go.

This is a picture of what her hair normally looks like.

In the morning after taking curls out and putting my fingers through it.

With clips.

A few had loosened or came out during the night but for a first try we were both pleased.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

'Finished' Rug and How Handmade can Reach Out Across the Years

My daughter said she like the rug and can I sew her name in the middle.  Well I have to admit that I cheated and glued her name, using the remainder of the yarn I had made.

I was telling some people on the wonderful UK thread on etsy that I inhabit, and one rather clever chap said that I can always add to it as she grows.  What a good idea!  As she grows out of her pyjama's I can add more rows. So it becomes a little story about her.

I was reading, this morning, a blog that I love and I urge, simply urge, you to go and have a look here. This particular post on Indietutes blog is about how she is mending a patchwork quilt that her children's grandmother made.

I love the idea that handmade treasures pass down the generations, and even get added to over the years.

The children at my work have been asked what they want to sew next and a couple have suggested patchwork.  I learnt patchwork at about 9 or 10 and it is the only patchwork I have ever done - by hand. I do not even know how to do it using a machine, although it is about time I learnt.

So I think I will look for a simple pattern and then try and find some cheap cotton fabric for them to use.  If you have any going spare (and free) then please let me know.

Do you have a handmade object that has come down from other generations?   I still have the cardigan my nanny knitted me. Too small for me, too small for Mary. But it is there in my wardrobe.  

Monday, 9 January 2012

Crafteroo Pinterest - First Finished Project - Rag Rug

I am taking part in the Crafteroo Pinterest Project Challenge.  The aim is to try and make (at least) one project from our Pinterest Board each month.  Actually I put the 'at least' there - I will be lucky if I manage to make one a month - you know me!

Here is my Crafteroo Pinterest challenge Board.  Anything I make I am moving to the new board which is the Finished Project Board.

And my first project uses more than one project - hurrah!!  It is a rag rug made out of t-shirt yarn.

I used my daughter's old pyjamas.  Don't worry she has plenty more. I used this tutorial to make the t-shirt yarn but as I didn't have anything without seams, I had to adapt it which is why my rag rug has more knots and bit of fabric sticking up. I also had this tutorial on my board which is more or less the same.  

Pyjamas cut up

The Pyjamas have been cut up and cut into strips, and yanked to make 'curled' yarn.

Near the beginning

Finished Rug

Not very tidy! But still nice

When making my rug I used my Christmas pressie 20mm crochet hook.  I made the pattern up really - just started crocheting a few rows to make a rectangle and then the next row, and then on, crocheted all around until I ended up with rather a nice shape, and until I ran out of yarn and patience.  But here is a nice tutorial from my Pinterest board to show you rugs.

Amazingly enough I did it all in one day. Yes indeedy. Which is why I have rather sore arms now and a callous on my finger.

My daughter liked it and is is destined for her room but first she wants me to embroider her name in the middle.  I think this sort of thing is rather a nice project to use old children's clothes because as I used the different ones I remembered the age when she wore them, and often who gave them to her.  A nice memory.  A a fun project.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Christmas Garland Tutorial

As I was about to put the decorations away, I remembered that I wanted to share with you the garland that my daughter and I made.  I tend to call them garlands as I don't like the word 'wreath' as it has overtones of the funereal about it.

 Anyway I had a foam ring for ages and thought finally time to use it.  So we collected a few things we might use - a little robin and the felt deer and angel from a craft shop in Lewes.  The stickers came out of Christmas crackers.  We were going to use yarn but I suddenly had the inspiration to use ribbon or braid. Mary made a sequined picture for her little cousin as a present and we had lots of sequins and the pins left over.

So first I wound the ribbon round the ring.  Then I filled in the gaps with the sequins, attaching them using just the pins. This was a long job and to amuse myself in some places I made patterns using just a few colours.

Next I pinned on the robin, and then Mary stuck on the stickers and felt bits.   As I took it down today, I glued these all on so hopefully they will still be attached next year.

So when I say my daughter and I made it, I did all the boring, fiddly jobs and she had the fun of sticking on the last final touches.

I was rather impressed when we finally hung it on the door Christmas eve.  In the gloom of our hall (we live in a flat) it looked pretty good, and the sequins sparkled nicely in the light.

I call this a tutorial - but the tutorial is: - get a ring and have fun sticking things on. 

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Crafteroo Pinterest Challenge

Crafteroo Challenge

This year I am going to try and make more things for me and my family and friends.  There are lots of things that I bookmark and think 'I will make that someday'.  Then I have a huge list of bookmarked tutorials that are not that easy to look though.  But hold your horses....as Kitty Ballistic has had a wonderful idea..and it is the Crafteroo Pinterest Challenge 2012. Pop over to her blog for details here.

The great thing about Pinterest is that you can organise things into areas - so you can have a board for crochet, one for knitting etc. It is easy to find things as you can see the photos.  And of course you don't have to just have tutorials on there.

Here is my Crafteroo Challenge board here.  I might not make all these things this year but intend to have a go.

Warning Pinterest is addictive!